Redemption Child

Redemption Child

~ Update, August 2018

It has been one year since I nursed Jack. He self-weaned at 30 months after his Daddy and I were in Vegas for a few days.

I count my breastfeeding story with him to be one of the most empowering and redeeming experiences of my life. I count all the support I received as a gift I will always pay forward.

I still struggle with body image: This year, I’m slowly and steadily changing my body AND how I treat and view it. I want to be strong to chase this boy for many years to come.

Jack continues to remind me that God makes all things beautiful. Turned out he was not my last baby – there was one to follow, whom we never got to meet. Sometimes I still wonder who our little Jesse Bean, whom we lost in February 2016 at 11 weeks in utero, would have been. But like his brothers and sisters, I know that he was ours, I know he served a purpose, and I know that I will honor him all my days by being my best self.

Thank God for redemption.

~Original Post {May 26, 2015}:

One year ago today, 3 months after a devastating miscarriage, I suspected I was pregnant again. This week, I am revisiting the journey of carrying and birthing our Jackson Cash – my redemption child!

redemptionchild1Unmitigated joy. It’s not a feeling I am used to, and yet, when I am around my baby son, whether he is eating, sleeping, chatting, smiling, or just looking at me with his wide, blue eyes, I feel it bubbling up.

It’s not that I love him more than my other children; of course not. But his timing, his entrance into our world, well, it’s so easy for me to see God’s hand in it.

I have probably said before how much having another child surprised us. The roller coaster of shock, elation, and heartbreak of our miscarriage last year changed me forever. It changed my perspective on mothering, family, my career aspirations, my belief in God and His works, my bond to other women, my pregnancy experience… everything.

But carrying and having Jack changed me, too. In the years between Kaity’s birth and his (6 years, 11 months…), I was often, as my Gramma H. would say, “running myself down.” I felt so much guilt. I didn’t like my body. I wasn’t losing weight. I didn’t nurse the girls long enough or push harder for natural births. I didn’t enjoy them enough. I should have taken more time. I should have planned my job moves differently. I should homeschool. I should do this, this, this, and this. AND, even better, “This person did this better. This person looks better. If i was like that person, my kids/family/body would be ______.”

What a lost cause that guilt, that thinking is.

During my pregnancy with Jack, I met amazing women, mamas, nurses, midwives, birth workers, who encouraged me personally or by┬ásimply sharing their stories. Through those months – and the four following, I’ve been able to make peace with my C-section births, my ability to breastfeed, my level of patience with my children, and my role as a mama, a stepmom, a grandma, a wife, and a sister in the community of mothers.

In a nutshell, God sent me a whole lot with my newest, my last baby. While the loss of David last year brought me so many questions, the birth of Jack brought me affirmations.

God used Jack to make me listen to Him saying…
You are enough.
You are new.
You are forgiven.
You are strong.
You are beautiful.
You are young.
You are patient.
You are kind.
You belong.
You give love.
Let my joy radiate from you. Point to your son and say, “The Lord is good. His promises are real and true. I have been redeemed.”

As a result: I don’t feel uneasy when I have to nurse my son in public; I feel confident. I don’t feel guilt or shame about the extra pounds around my waist or the gray hairs sprouting more frequently; I feel strong. I don’t wonder if my husband is really attracted to me or whether my kids really adore me; I feel cherished. I don’t feel like I missed the boat in my career; I feel like my whole future is still unfolding, and like I am showing a smart, balanced, and loving example to my children.

I was these things all along, though. I was supposed to see them that way. And it dawns on me that God could have used any number of things to clarify my vision. I am very grateful that He chose as His means of attention-getting a pure bundle of cuddly joy, one who elicits smiles in a hundred different ways, one made to fit perfectly into the curve of my chest and my heart. God sent Jack to make me a better listener…

And oh, the things I am hearing! ­čÖé

And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
 Romans 4:21

to be continued!

 

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